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Fixing directory/file corruption on SAN storage on Server 2008R2

Posted on 2013-11-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
hello,
I have a Server 2008R2 that has a D: drive that is an iSCSI attached SAN partition.
We have some files and folders that are not accessible through the file system, and are coming up as corrupt when I try to back them up with Symantec.

Wondering if I can run CheckDisk on the SAN D: Disk, or is that not applicable because it is SAN based storage?

Thanks,
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Question by:adamant40
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39676322
Chkdsk will work on SAN storage, but I'd recommend spending some time determining why the corruption occurred in the first place or you may make matters worse. Do you have the file server LUN shared with another server?
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by:adamant40
ID: 39676362
Yes, I believe that the LUN was mounted on another server for a short time. The idea was to have the Tape Backup system copy directly from the 2nd server. There was either no data, or a small test file, written to the LUN from the 2nd server. I have since disconnected that "drive" from the second server. We've been trying to isolate the corruption issue also. We had switched to Symantec Backup Exec around the same time as this and run a backup with the new software. We were concerned that some file locking wasn't happening and the data was corrupted as Symantec backed up an open file.

From your experience is it likely the backup itself could have caused the issue or would it defintely be the LUN connected to a second server. Even if no data was written from 2nd server?

Thanks,
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Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 39676414
I'm sorey to have to tell you that having the same LUN exposed to two different servers at the same time has caused the corruption. The bad news is that it's unlikely to be recoverable but its worth a try.

First: make sure that the LUN is exposed to the file server *only*
Second: try running chkdsk but I'd be looking for the backup tapes if I were you.
Third: to improve your backup performance, you could mount a snapshot of the file server LUN on the backup server and run your backup from that. You may need additional licensing depending on what SAN you have, but these days most vendors include basic snapshot software. You'll also need to develop a simple script to automate the task Of creating the snapshot, mounting it on the server then releasing the snapshot once the backup finishes. It's easier than it sounds....
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39676424
A word of explanation is in order: NTFS does not have any mechanism to arbitrate access to disk from multiple servers at the same time. Some file systems do like VMware VMFS and Quantum StorNext but the way they achieve integrity is different. Because there is no system in NTFS to allow multiple access, the inevitable result is corruption as both servers try to own the file system
internal structures.
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Author Closing Comment

by:adamant40
ID: 39676460
Confirmed my worst fears.  Very helpful.
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39676858
Thanks. Glad I could help.
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